The open secret is now public: Utah’s proposed, new science standards are word-for-word identical to the controversial NGSS science standards. How did we get here? Here’s a quick review:
- USOE: ‘No National Standards.’ In 2011, the USOE repeatedly promised that Utah will NOT adopt national science or social studies standards, citing “too many philosophical variances” in the standards.
- ‘Written by Utah.’ In November 2014 the USOE told the parent review committee that the new science standards were “written by Utah.” No third party was attributed as participating in any way. This is corroborated by Alisa Ellis and Vince Newmeyer, both members of the parent review committee.
- Missing Copyright Attribution? The parent committee ran a doc comparison between the new “Utah” standards, and the controversial NGSS national science standards. They found them to be word-for-word The lack of citation to NGSS was a mystery until someone found the copyright notice on Achieve, Inc’s NGSS site, wherein Achieve (the owner of NGSS), allowed a state to surreptitiously adopt the standards (i.e., be exempt from the copyright attribution requirement), as long as the state adopts the standards “in full:” Achieve said:
“States and territories…that have adopted or are in the process of adopting the NGSS in whole shall be exempt from this Attribution and Copyright Notice provision of this License.”
- Achieve, Inc’s Disappearing Act. In spring 2015, after Utah standards reviewers made public the deceptive nature of NGSS adoption, Achieve removed the language encouraging “non-attributed” use of the NGSS standards. Now Achieve is trying to minimize (hide?) its own ownership and control of NGSS. In its revised Web site, it has not only removed all reference to ownership of NGSS, but now requires states to attribute NGSS to themselves. (see table, below).
|ORIGINAL Achieve NGSS messaging||REVISED Achieve NGSS messaging|
| Attribution exemption|
“States and territories of the United States as well as the District of Columbia that have adopted or are in the process of adopting the NGSS in whole shall be exempt from this Attribution and Copyright Notice provision of this License.”
| Ownership of NGSS|
“Except as set forth below, Achieve, on behalf of the twenty-six states and partners that collaborated on the NGSS, shall be acknowledged as the sole owner of the NGSS, and licensees shall make no claim to the contrary.
|“© Copyright 2013 Achieve, Inc. All rights reserved.”||“Suggested citation: NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States.|
Lest anyone be confused as to who really owns and controls the controversial NGSS science standards, both the “original” and “revised” Achieve Web sites include this reminder: “Before using any NGSS trademarks, third parties must submit samples of proposed uses to Achieve for review.”
Clear as mud.